For the second night in a row, Minneapolis was convulsed with violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
The bystander’s video showing Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe as an officer knelt on his neck has inflamed the nation and ignited anger and anguish alike among the civilian and law enforcement communities.
Police chiefs around the nation are speaking out on the case.
Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall said “I stand with the rest of my colleagues and major city chiefs and we all agree that this behavior should not be tolerated, and it does not represent who we are.
There are 18,000 police departments in this country. Over 800,000 members of law enforcement throughout this country and that’s not representative of us at all.
Hall said she knows painful conversations are happening, especially in black families, like her own.
“I grew up having a brother in a black home and my mother having to have that talk," she said. "And my prayer was that one day black and brown people around the country would not have to have that talk."
“Our entire police department and command staff stand with Chief Arradondo and his decision to terminate.” - Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall condemns actions of four Minneapolis police officers in the death of #GeorgeFloyd.— Candace Sweat (@CandaceNBC5) May 28, 2020
Tonight @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/6ahs6u9pXb
“We can train. We can educate. And we can produce police officers who represent the entirety of our community,” she said.
Elsewhere in Texas, Irving Chief of Police Jeff Spivey said, “This is flat wrong. There’s nothing you can say. There’s nothing you can show me. There’s nothing you can do that can ever justify what happened here.”
“Is it a failure of leadership? Is it a failure of who we’re hiring? Is it a failure of how we’re training our people?" Spivey asked. "Or is it just the fact that we hire from the human race and sometimes we don’t always get it right and we hire bad people?”
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and deputy chiefs of his department reviewed the video of Floyd being detained. "The officers' actions are not consistent with the training and protocol of our profession," the statement released by OPD reads. "We commend Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his decisive actions and leadership."
Arrandondo fired all four officers involved in the arrest: Derek Chauvin (who had his knee on Floyd’s throat), Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng.
St Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell posted a particularly emotional essay to his Facebook page:
I challenged our officers to ask themselves if they would have done anything differently from what the officers did in the video.
If the answer is no, I told them to reconsider their career choice.
Integrity. Respect for all. Compassion. Empathy.
These qualities are non-negotiable – as law enforcement professionals and as human beings.
I know that the job is difficult. I know that the vast majority of the time officers do what is right. But I also know that if we don't check ourselves, we run the risk of losing touch with humanity. And then we have lost everything.